The UK government has given approval to Cuadrilla Resources to carry out hydraulic fracturing in northern England despite community oppositions.

The approval from the UK Secretary of State Sajid Javid, allows Cuadrilla to drill and frack four wells at Preston New Road, in Lancashire.

Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan was reported by Reuters as saying that the construction at the site is planned to commence by the end of this year while drilling and first fracking is scheduled in 2017.

Egan said: "Gas from the site could start flowing into the grid in early 2018.”

The shale gas fracking approval overturns Lancashire's decision to reject Cuadrilla’s application to frack at two sites including Preston New Road and Roseacre. Cuadrilla later appealed to Lancashire's decision.

Meanwhile, the fracking decision is due to be made on Roseacre site.

The shale gas fracking approval raised concerns from the environmental groups who claim that the process could contaminate groundwater and will not support the country's effort to fight climate change.

Environmental group Friends of Earth said in a statement: “Not only is this decision undemocratic, it could open the floodgates for more fracking across the country if the government is willing to overturn decisions made by local councils.”

Network operator National Grid said that the country might import 93% of its gas supplies from other countries by 2040, if developments of domestic gas extraction, including shale gas, are not supported.

The UK government has earlier approved a license to Third Energy to frack an existing well in northern England.

According to the US Energy Department estimates, UK has 20 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas resources, reported Bloomberg.